April 17, 2024

Minster Decries Under Utilization Of FG’s Investments In Power Sector

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…Says problems bedeviling sector will soon be a thing of the past

By Simeon OSAJIE

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Mr. Adebayo Adelabu, Minister of Power, Federal Ministry of Power today, 23rd February, 2024 said, despite the huge investment of the federal government in the power sector, it is still being underutilized.

Adebayo disclosed this during his inspection tour of Ihovbor Power Plants in Edo State.

He said that the government has invested so much money in the energy sector but that it is a pity that Nigerians are still battling with issues of light.

According to him, “I have gone round this installation and I am quite impressed with what we have here. Contrary to general believe, Nigeria has invested so much in power generating plants and these plants, are the state of the arts plants, they are well maintained, they are in a very good conditions and they are in a condition that can give us the kind of power generation that we need in this country, except that there are a lot of capacity distortions.

“Ihovbor plants which belongs to the federal government under the Niger-Delta Power Holding Company Limited, it is a plant with four gas plants, in a very good condition, with a capacity of about 125 megawatt each which is a total of 500 megawatt.

“They are well maintained plants and the running hours of each of these, they are all below 30,000, which means that, effectively, they have not been run more than three years even though they have been installed almost 8 or 10 years ago. They are as brand as a new turbines but surprisingly, is only one turbine that is operational as at today, generating about a 100 megawatt of power as against the installed capacity of 500 megawatt. That is just 20 per cent capacity utilization and which is a gross lack of optimization of our investment as a country. If we have put in so much into establishing these power plants, it should be able to give us the kind of power that we require”, Adelabu said.

The Minister assured Nigerians that all the problems bedeviling the sector will soon be a thing of the past.

“Like I have mentioned in the number of my past interviews, that the militating fact is actually the shortage in gas supply which we are actually working on and the good news I will like mention here is that, succour is closed to us, relief is closed to these power plants as the federal government with the Federal Ministry of Finance, Federal Ministry of Budget and Economic Planning and Federal Ministry of Power, we have met with the Mr. President and he has mandated us to go and work out how we are going to defray the outstanding debts being owed.

“I can boldly state here that we are working seriously on it and very soon we are going to come up with a repayment plan in terms of cash injection to pay down the loans in terms of given them guarantee debts instrument in terms of publicity notes that would assure them of in future payment with interest or in terms of even allowing the gas companies access to some of our gas wells which will be used in to defray some of these outstanding debts.

“I think Nigerians should be happy to hear about this news that the debts will soon be paid down and supply would resume. All these plants that are operating below their capacity, and it not restricted to Benin Planting, it will also affect Oshogbo, Omotosho, and the number of our Nigerian National Integrated Power Project (NIPP plants) that are not operating up to our capacity,” Adelabu said.

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